High Blood Pressure (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
High Blood Pressure Diagnosis
Patient Comment Read 1 Comment
Blood pressure is measured with a blood pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer). This may be done using a stethoscope and a cuff and gauge or by an automatic machine. It is a routine part of the physical examination and one of the vital signs often recorded for a patient visit. Other vital signs include pulse rate, respiratory rate (breathing rate), temperature, and weight.
When discussing blood pressure issues, the health care practitioner may ask questions about past medical history, family history, and medication use, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and food additives. Other questions may include lifestyle habits, including activity levels, smoking, alcohol consumption, and illegal drug use.
Physical examination may include listening to the heart and lungs, feeling for pulse in the wrist and ankles, and feeling and listening to the abdomen looking for signs of an enlarged aorta. Eye examination with an ophthalmoscope may be helpful by looking at the small blood vessels on the retina in the back of the eyeball.
Blood tests may be considered to assess risk factors for heart disease and stroke as well as looking for complications of hypertension. These include complete blood count (CBC), electrolytes, BUN (blood urea nitrogen), and creatinine and GFR (glomerular filtration rate) to measure kidney function. A fasting lipid profile will measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. If appropriate, blood tests may be considered to look for an underlying cause of high blood pressure including abnormal thyroid or adrenal gland function.
Other studies may be considered depending upon the individual patient's needs
Must Read Articles Related to High Blood Pressure
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about High Blood Pressure:
High Blood Pressure - Effective Treatments
What kinds of treatments have been effective for your high blood pressure?
High Blood Pressure - Diagnosis
How was your high blood pressure diagnosed?
High Blood Pressure - Medications
Please share medications for your high blood pressure?
High Blood Pressure - Experience
Please describe your experience with high blood pressure.